Last Updated on September 25, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding open bridging work permits.  One of the best things that Jason Kenney did as immigration minister was to allow individuals to apply for open work permits if their permanent residence applications had reached certain stages in processing.  (A detailed blog post of mine on Bridging Open Work Permits can be found here.)  As with any new program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements of the Bridging Open Work Permit, including whether spouses can apply.  This is actually the second Q&A on open bridging work permits which I have reproduced.  The first can be found here

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

Question – May 14, 2013


Could you tell me if Open Bridging Work Permits also apply to spouses of work permit holders?

Thank you.

Answer – May 22, 2013

NO, the Bridging Work Permit is only available to the Principal Applicant.

However, if certain conditions are met by the principal applicant, they will impact the eligibility for the spouse for an
open work permit.

In all cases the Principal Applicants work permit must be valid for longer than 6 months.

For spouses of Federal Skilled Workers, the principal applicant must be performing work which is at a level that falls within National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A or B.

For spouses of Provincial Nominee applicants, they are eligible for an open work permit for the duration of the work permit held by the provincial nominee principal applicant, irrespective of the skill level of the principal applicant’s occupation.

For spouses of Federal Skilled Trades, the principle applicant must be performing work which is within one of the qualifying occupations in NOC Skill Level B.

For spouses of applicants in the Canadian Experience Class, they are eligible for an open WP without preconditions to be met by the principal applicant.

For Dependent children of an applicant in any Class, they must obtain a LMO or have a LMO exemption based on their specific situation in order to apply for a work permit.

Because of all the confusion over open bridging work permits, CIC recently released OB 485-A, which answers many of the questions which people have